Today, a pretty big change is happening in my life.

My boyfriend and I are combining households–today’s the day of the move!

I must admit, I’ve been looking forward to this day for quite some time. We’ve lived apart for the entirety of our three year relationship, and I’m so excited that we’re taking this step together to really become a team…a family.

However, this move hasn’t been without it’s share of challenges. I’ve had to purge a significant amount of, well, crap. It’s amazing how much stuff a person can collect! When I went back home to Kentucky this summer to visit my family, my mom sent me back with a lot of my stuff from my childhood: pictures, knickknacks, school yearbooks–even my American Girl doll, Addy. Add that to the house full of stuff I’ve collected since I’ve lived in Wisconsin and you end up with a ton of things you have to decide to keep or throw out.

I’m not the best at letting things go. Channeling my inner Marie Kondo was a struggle for me. How do I know if this thing “brings me joy”? Isn’t it wasteful to just throw this in the trash? If I don’t have this ticket stub/t-shirt/photograph, how will I know that I saw that movie/went to that concert/knew those people?

This process has helped me understand one thing: Those tokens aren’t the important thing. The memories of those experiences are what matter.

Mail call! #100HappyDays

Day 59: Getting things in the mail makes me happy. 

Quick clarification: Getting things in the mail that aren’t bills makes me happy. ūüėČ I ordered some pictures to hang up in my home and they finally arrived! For so long, my walls have been bare. But my boyfriend’s recent home decorating inspired me to do a little decorating myself. Family, friends, travels, and of course my favorite drag queens–I’m covering the walls with them! 

Looks like I’m gonna need to do some thrifting to find frames for all these (and the ones I still need to order)…

Yes, the picture of me with RuPaul is an 8×10. To quote Queen B, “And I don’t feel bad about it.”

Long Weekends and Lifelong Friends #100HappyDays

Day 47-51: ¬†Long weekends make me happy. ¬†I originally planned to go back home to Kentucky for Memorial Day, but ended up doing a staycation instead. ¬†I got so much stuff done around the house–I wish I had a four-day workweek all the time. ¬†My house would be spotless! ¬†For Memorial Day, my boyfriend and I relaxed and grilled veggie kebabs. ¬†This long weekend was the perfect blend of work and play.

Day 52: ¬†Office days make me happy. ¬†This was my first day back after the long weekend and I’m so glad I didn’t have to jump into teaching right away. ¬†Having the time to get through my backlog of email¬†and work on projects (with quickly approaching deadlines) was a great way to come back from vacation.

Day 53: ¬†Lifelong friends make me happy. ¬†I’ve known my best friend (Gabby) since fourth grade. ¬†We went through middle and high school together, but ended up at different colleges and now live in different states. ¬†Our bond is still just as strong though; she is the sister I never had. ¬†We chatted on the phone and it was like no time had passed, even though the last time I saw her was at Christmas. ¬†I’m so happy that she’s still in my life after all these years!


Seeing New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys–we dreamed of this day since we were kids!

Anniversaries, Work Life, “…and a brand new car!” #100HappyDays

Days 40-41: New cars make me happy! It’s my great pleasure to introduce…Stella. She’s a 2017 Subaru Crosstrek and she’s ALL MINE. She’s stylish and, most importantly, good for these Wisconsin winters. Last winter I got stuck in a (pretty shallow) ditch and had to be towed out–I’m hoping Stella will get me out of those sticky situations if they arise in the future. 

Day 42: Anniversaries make me happy. One year ago, my boyfriend and I went on our first date. We’ve been together ever since, and I am so grateful for him. He lets me be me, which is something I’ve never had in a relationship. We make a great team and I’m looking forward to spending many more years with him!

Day 43: Doing new workouts makes me happy. Each month, my trainer comes up with a new set of exercises for our sessions. I really like learning new stuff, so this is always a fun time for me.  I’m sure my trainer gets tired of my constant questions about what muscles will be worked and if my technique is good though. 

Day 44: Coworkers who are also friends make me happy. Imagine my surprise when I go to leave for work and my garage door wouldn’t open! I couldn’t get it open manually and had to be at work at 8am, so I called my officemate. She came to pick me up and I truly appreciated it! She is an awesome person to work with and also a good friend, which is a tough combination to find sometimes. 

Day 45: Teaching camp makes me happy. I’ve been teaching classes to internal staff this week–we call them “camps”–and I have really enjoyed this group of campers. They ask great questions and even laugh at my corny jokes. ūüôā

Vacation Days and Handwritten Notes #100HappyDays

Days 19-22: ¬†Vacation days¬†make me happy. ¬†And before you ask–no, I didn’t go anywhere (unless you count the grocery store). ¬†I originally took the days off to attend DragCon 2017 in Los Angeles, but that airline ticket just wasn’t in the budget this year unfortunately. ¬†Since I’d already gotten the vacation days approved, I figured I’d use the time to reminisce about my wonderful DragCon 2016 experience and get some adulting done.

And boy, did this gal adult¬†something FIERCE! ¬†I completed a ton of¬†personal care appointments I’d been putting off for wayyyyy too long, got all my grocery shopping done, and (with the help of my wonderful boyfriend) took care of some #homeownerproblems. ¬†This was definitely a stay-cation, but having Friday and Monday off work made me very happy indeed.

Day 23: ¬†Handwritten notes make me happy. ¬†My boyfriend’s mom mailed me the sweetest thank you card in appreciation for the dinner I hosted over Easter weekend, and today I come into my office to find this adorable note from my office mate’s family!


Weekends, Faux Burgers, Reunions, and Chipmunks #100HappyDays

Day 13:  Saturdays make me happy.  Long story short, I love the weekend!  I enjoy my job (see my last post for reasons why) but there is nothing like sitting around the house doing absolutely nothing.

Day 14: ¬†Grilling out makes me happy. ¬†My boyfriend and I made Portobello burgers for dinner and they were SO. ¬†GOOD! ¬†I’ve often missed meat since becoming a vegetarian last August, but these burgers made me forget all about it! ¬†Ground chuck who??? ¬†All I need are these mushrooms, honey! ¬†ūüôā

Day 15: ¬†Reuniting with colleagues makes me happy. ¬†I ran into one of my old analysts during our customer conference and it was so exciting to see her! ¬†Her organization was the last one I worked with before I switched to my current role, so I wasn’t able to see them get all the way through the install. ¬†I loved getting updates on how things went, the other analysts, and overall just getting to see her again.

Day 16:  Small fuzzy animals make me happy.  I saw a chipmunk when I was walking to lunch at work.  I would have snapped a picture but the little thing scampered away before I could get my phone out.  Guess he was heading to lunch too!

Bright and Blooming #100HappyDays

Day 11: Fresh flowers make me happy. 

Things are just starting to bloom around here, but not fast enough for my liking. After what felt like a decades-long winter, I need to see some flowers blooming! That’s why I really appreciated the fresh flowers my boyfriend’s dad brought over this weekend when I hosted dinner at my house. Today I saw that a few of the buds have opened and those bursts of color made me so happy! Photo below for your viewing pleasure:

Bright and blooming flowers!

Bonus: My Granny Loma loved fresh flowers, and every time I have some in my home I think of her. She made me–and everyone who knew her–very happy. Check out my tribute to her here

Safe Travels, Staff Meetings, Dinners, and Open Doors #100HappyDays

Four days of happiness comin’ atcha in three…two…ONE:

Day 7: ¬†Safe travels make me happy. ¬†My parents headed back to Kentucky on this day, so it was bittersweet for me. ¬†I was sad to see them go, but happy when I got the text from my mom telling me they made it back safely. ¬†I always worry about them when they travel–too many crazy drivers out there for my comfort–so getting the confirmation that their travels were safe put a big smile on my face.

Day 8: ¬†Staff Meeting (oddly enough) makes me happy. ¬†Most folks wouldn’t say they enjoy attending a staff meeting at work, especially when that meeting is over two hours long. ¬†But I enjoy attending the monthly staff meeting at my company. ¬†I like learning what’s new with the company and the software and hearing our CEO speak about topics related to the business we do. ¬†I also appreciate the monthly grammar tip–who doesn’t want to improve their grammar? ¬†ūüôā

Day 9: ¬†Making dinner with my boyfriend makes me happy. ¬†I’ve always been able to throw a recipe together, but wasn’t really someone who enjoyed cooking. ¬†That changed after I started cooking with my boyfriend. ¬†We make dinners together a few nights a week and it is always more fun cooking with him than when I cook solo. ¬†Whether we’re trying something completely new or making an old favorite, we always have a good time. ¬†(And the food usually turns out pretty great too! ¬†Check out my Instagram for photos of some of the meals we’ve made.)

Day 10: ¬†Being appreciated makes me happy. ¬†After pinch-hitting for a coworker who was out with a sick kiddo this week, my team lead¬†(TL) told me I was “the reason why we keep the doors open for HIM training.” ¬†Apparently this isn’t the only time someone has said that–she said she stole the phrase from another TL who supervised me while my TL was out on maternity leave! ¬†In a company of 9,000+ people, it’s easy to fly under the radar. ¬†I love helping others and I don’t need to be recognized for it, but knowing that someone notices and appreciates the ways I help out makes me very happy indeed.

Gladiators and Good Reviews #100HappyDays

Happiness abounds! 

Day 4: Scandal makes me happy. Are y’all surprised I am obsessed with Scandal? If so, you shouldn’t be. Fierce Black woman solving problems and saving lives while rocking designer clothes and carrying exquisite handbags? That’s got me written all over it. Yesterday was the show’s 100th episode and to celebrate, they did a “what if” storyline outlining what might have happened if important events turned out differently. I’ve been watching Scandal avidly since the first season–I am an old school “gladiator”–so I enjoyed seeing old characters and situations revisited. 

Day 5: Customer evals make me happy. These evaluations (evals) I’m referring to are submitted by customers at the end of each class. They rate the overall course, training materials, and me (the trainer). This morning my team lead called me first thing and asked if I had read my evals from Thursday’s class. I immediately got anxious that something was wrong, but they were some of the best ranks I’ve ever gotten! I appreciated the positive comments my trainees left and also the fact that my team lead noticed and called to congratulate me. 

Bonus: Today when I got home from work, I was able to sit down and eat dinner with my parents. I am so happy they came up to spend Easter weekend with me!

Work and the Weather(man) #100HappyDays

You’re probably thinking, “Nice job, sis. ¬†You just started #100HappyDays and you’re already a day behind.”

To that I say–you’re right; I am late. ¬†But the reason I’m late is the reason I was happy yesterday, so check your lipstick before you come for me. ¬†ūüôā

Day 2:  Educating people makes me happy.  Yesterday, I had the pleasure of teaching a class of directors, managers, and supervisors.  Twelve intelligent, curious women learned how to support their staff and received the details they needed to make informed decisions about how their departments will work.  They asked great questions and really seemed eager to succeed, and I was so happy to see that.  I was proud to know that I helped them feel confident in their roles and this new software system they would be using.  This class took most of the day, and after it ended I got so busy with other work responsibilities and spending time with my awesome boyfriend that I missed posting about it.  But, even a day late, it still brings a smile to my face.

Pretty good stuff, huh? ¬†Bet you feel bad about clowning me for being a day behind. ¬†It’s okay; I forgive you. ¬†ūüôā ¬†And to show you there are no hard feelings, I’ll share today’s happy thing with you.

Day 3: ¬†WKOW makes me happy. ¬†I know this sounds weird, but the local ABC station in Madison helps me start my morning with a smile. ¬†The Wake Up Wisconsin morning show has the best anchors; I love the camaraderie between them (the weatherman is pretty good too). ¬†I appreciate the local news segments they do, and I love that they feature an animal from the Dane County Humane Society each week to help find it a forever home. ¬†Also, today’s trivia question was about a Beyonc√© song, which made me very happy indeed.